The overall goal of this case study is to introduce you to the genetic basis of cancer development. You are introduced to a fictional 20-year-old female who sunburns easily and has several other melanoma risk factors. One day, she discovers that a mole on her leg has started to itch. The case study follows her actions as she gets the mole checked out by her doctor and learns more about cancer in the process.
This case was written specifically for a general education health and wellness class. It is most appropriate for students who have a basic background in genetics. The terminology needed to understand the material presented here is minor and can be integrated into the case presentation itself. Concepts such as gene, mutation, recessive, and dominant can simply be discussed or defined at appropriate times throughout the case. The case study would be most appropriate for small group work and since the material is presented in distinct parts, the whole class can come together for discussion and review between the sections. Also, please read the Guidelines to get important information regarding how to use case studies in your classroom.